How do you define success?
If anyone knows me, they know that I am very passionate about women's issues. Last week I was watching a program about gender disparity and women's "success". It was a great program that discussed gender inequality across the globe and even included some countries that have pretty successful equality programs (though why we need "programs" for something that should be a given is beyond me. But, I digress). But one thing that really got my gears grinding (re: pissed me off) was the topic of "success". Success, for all intents and purposes, was left mostly to the working individuals. The main topic was, of course, the pay gap between men and women and the opportunities for upward movement favoring on the male side. For example, working women who then have children see a decrease in possibilities for upward momentum after starting families. Now, don't go getting me wrong, this is definitely an existing issue. My beef is with the definition of "success". In my mind, success is more of an emotional response then a corporate one. We seem to be perpetuating this ideology that in order to be successful, women must be 1) working in the traditional, corporate world 2) moving upwards in said field. But, not everyone has that same perception. By all accounts, someone could look at me and say, "she's not successful". I mean I have a Master of Science degree but, I'm not in a field that utilizes this degree. I am not the primary breadwinner and I rely on the Hubbs for our finances. But, what I do have, is an amazing family with a flexible schedule and a job that keeps me outside and moving, which I love. Sure, I'm never going to be the bread winner and trust me that is still a source of contention with my independent spirit. But, all in all I have everything I could ever want and I do indeed "feel" successful.
More importantly, this feeling of "success" based on choices shouldn't be a female/male issue. If a woman wants to work then she should. And more importantly, she should be given the same opportunities as a man in the same position would. If a man wants to stay home and pull the domestic rankings, then he should be given that same opportunity without societal shame.
I guess my point is that there are different views of "success". Because we live in a culture that values money over most other things, we seem to get tunnel vision when we consider success. Success doesn't have to be a six figure income with a house in Palm Beach (who am I kidding? You can't get a house in Palm Beach with only a six figure income). It's time we value the happiness that our choices give us and rest assured that we don't need to be a CEO to enjoy success.
Bottom line, you do you and I'll do me and we don't need to use the corporate ladder as an indicator of success.